14 March, 2009

Sink the 747 !!!

In this post the Frog Man asks Ken Chan of Sandy Bottom Divers in Hong Kong a few questions about the exciting project that he and a group of true diving enthusiasts got started recently.

Ken Chan is a veteran diving instructor currently based in Hong Kong and one of the founding members of the Sandy Bottoms Divers Club. If you live in Hong Kong or if you are just passing by and have time for a dive or two you should definitely check them out:

1) How did the "Sink-the-747" project started?

I read about a Jumbo Jet at CLK that the HKAA wanted to auction, they requested this with the courts. The plane's owner went bankrupt right after the plane got painted in it's colours in HK. The name, Ocean Airlines, somehow got me think of how it would be if it was IN the ocean.

2) What are the benefits for both the diving community and the general public in Hong Kong should this project succeed?

Benefits for the HK community would be:
- a new dive site
- ease the burden on the few dive sites there are in HK
- provide a beacon for marine life on the barren, trawled-out, mud bottom
- "fish spilling" out of the no "take zone" would be added value for fishermen
- a unique tourist attraction, only Jumbo Jet dive-wreck in the world
- do something useful with an unwanted item. A dive wreck might be "greener" than recycling it
- a project for the HK community to work on, since most of the resources will have to come from volunteers and donors.

3) What are the greatest challenges you and the rest of the team are facing?

Actually getting the plane, it is still unclear what it's faith will be. The HK trawlers' interests, gotta do a "public consultation" transportation to dive site raising the funds to buy it if the HKSAR doesn't donate it.

4) How can interested parties be of assistance?

For starters, there is a petition on the http://www.sinkthe747.com/ site where people can sign up (Not sure the status of it since I have not had the time to go online and check till now. will check after this email) to support this. A supporter has set up, and registered, the webset for free.
Donations/offers of manpower, skills and time to prepare the plane. Both individuals and companies alike are welcome.
Pledges of monetary donations, IN CASE WE CAN GET THE PLANE, would be good to show the Government that "the public" is supporting this.

5) Should this project be successful do you see the potential for other similar undertakings? What could be sunk next?

If this takes-off, pun not intended :-), it would be great to start "the bus-station". A dive site with a number of buses to dive on. After-all, sites with names like "airport", "landing-strip", "plane-wreck" etc can be found in many places. But a site called "the bus-station", heard of that?

6) How can the public keep up-to-date with the developments?

Check out our website, http://www.sinkthe747.com/ and our facebook site for latest developments and the public's comments.
The project has already attracted the attention of the local media which, in itself, is a testimony to the worthyness and potential viability of this project. An article by Peter Brieger and Dan Kadison appeared in the South China Morning Post on 01 March 2009.
Personally I am not only eager to help but also to eventually get to dive it!!!

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